Musical Slice of Life: Tuned Into Open

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I will often have stretches where I am writing lots of songs and the ideas are everywhere. Then there are the fallow times, when nothing seems to be flowing in any certain direction. I’ve learned to be patient — that the songs will still come. But I have also developed some strategies — pick up another instrument, try a new loop pack, or tune my guitar into another key.

That’s what I was doing yesterday — exploring open tuning on my guitar and this little sequence of riffs began to play out. I like open tuning now and then because of the space it creates on the fretboard.

This piece is short but long enough to remind me that music is all around, even if sometimes you need to approach it, slant (as Emily D might say). The title is merely a hopeful gesture of wording  …

Peace (sounds like),
Kevin

Dance Remixing a Collaborative Audio Poem

(Wendy used Google Docs to track when words were written, and where, for the poem. I did a slight remix on the image she shared, giving lateral movement to the tracking lines.)

When the audio quilt of our DS106 Collaborative Poem was released, Wendy and Sarah suggested that people consider a remix of the file. That’s like music to my ears. But what to do?

I decided to pull the audio file into a site called The Wub Machine, which is limited but does interesting things with audio files, in different musical genres. Sometimes, the original gets completely lost.

I tried it out, just out of curiosity, and then I worked through a few different genres — Trap, Dubstep, Country, Bass/Drums … hearing pieces of each track that sounded good as parts, but never great as a whole. What the heck — I opened up Audacity and began to remix the remix, weaving a few pieces and beats from different Wub-ed version tracks together, and that’s when it began to come together in an interesting way.

Weird, but interesting.

What holds it together is the voice at the start, and then its repeating refrain as well as the very last words one hears in the track. The shifts in beat to pull back at times, and leave some musical space for the chopped up but rhythmic vocals of the narration track to come to the surface became another kind of woven thread. I’m sure not every voice got into the mix, but it found its groove.

Be cool if this dub got transformed into a video remix … just saying: you’re invited.

Peace (tapping toes to it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: In That Moment, A Poem

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

In the moment in which that solitary snowflake landed in her outstretched hand, as if she were capturing a bit of loosened magic from the sky, the start of a small poem, too, tumbled into my head.

HandScratchPoemDraft(A draft started in freewrite time with students, revised during the day)

Peace (falling),
Kevin

Little Geometry

One single silent
snowflake, loose
– a goose lost from
its group – slow-motion
tumbler

Its landing softened
by her outstretched
hand: melted time

then, her lips
on skin
on ice
on sand

We’re lost in a
moment we may
never understand

Slice of Life/Day in Sentence: It Wasn’t So Easy After All

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

What I had at first hoped would be a straightforward technology lesson for students — using Quicktime to capture voice on audio — became, instead, incredibly unexpectedly complicated due to the distance between us — me, at home, with screenshots and tutorials; them, at home, using an unfamiliar application; and Zoom, refusing to play nice in allowing me to show what I needed to show.

Peace (finding the button),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: I Am So (not) Insulted

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I laughed, and then she laughed, and then we all laughed as the insult generator landed on a particularly funny Shakespearean phrase that she expertly lobbed my way with her voice, cushioned first by a heartfelt apology not even necessary.

Peace (from the classroom),
Kevin

Walk My World Listening Mode: Collaborative DS106 Audio Quilt

DS106Poem

My CLMOOC friend, Wendy, released a mixed audio quilt of our collective voices reading a collective poem written for the DS106 community called 106 Lines of Thought. Walk My World’s recent Learning Event (6) is to pay attention to the sound of our world, to notice the details. The audio quilt is yet further iteration of the collaboration.

So I’m going to listen and jot notes and first impressions about the voices I am hearing on the audio file  …. While I may know and recognize some voices, I am not going to identify anyone until the very end … I have my headphones on and I am in deep listening space … writing what I hear …

  • First Voice —  first some claves then a short remix edit repeat of the 106 theme … clear and passionate, an introduction to listen … a personal voice … a collaborative reading … guitar bridge
  • Second Voice —  the alliterative patterns in the first stanza of the poem, read so lovely by this voice … the bird the stars the shimmer … the texture of her voice is a nice frequency for the words here
  • Third Voice — familiar voice familiar words … trying to find some emotional elements underneath the lines … the break through … the moment … false ending …. this is not the ending
  • Fourth Voice — music interlude … the accent draws me in, familiar and yet not heard by my ears on a daily basis kind of accent, there’s a sharpness to the dark wings .. higher higher higher, and the voice hit an emotional shift to bring us up, only to be reminded of the fate of Icarus
  • Fifth Voice — warmth here on the first phrase of words .. warming the bones .. looking down … and then, gratitude .. I am leaning into the sound of the warmth now … observing the moment …
  • Sixth Voice — nearly no gap space before this voice takes the poem from before like a baton pass and holds out for our hand, bringing us forward … sparking something deep inside … of you us we .. reaching out to others …
  • Seventh Voice — percussive interlude with claves … click click click – the musical thread, perhaps, or the ink of the poem to be read … I am sitting here at the table, sitting with this voice, so close now it seems in sound and so rich with ambience … listening, always listening … the small things … these give us all hope …
  • Eighth Voice — pace of narration quickens a bit,  captured like snapshots to browse through … I imagine us all doing that here, the collective urge to remember something important before we forget … wings rhythm beat ..
  • Ninth Voice — sounds of wings continue, a voice from a soft tunnel, perhaps, or a protective cave, or some chamber in dusk or dawn where the voice is a friendly token, something you find … tribes gathering …
  • Tenth Voice — textured range of voice, a small token or trinket reminding us of love and compassion, and I am visualizing the text here as I am hearing the text …
  • Eleventh Voice — the percussive ink returns, a rhythmic reminder of the threads that connect the voices together … the voice is close and yet also far, wrapped in a blanket of soft noise … the snowflakes drifting in the wind .. a poet’s voice, texture and tenor
  • Twelfth Voice — questioning? confidence. A voice of dust. A shape emerges from the poem here, the rhymes and voice of a storyteller … reminding the audience of something larger emerging from the small pieces of words
  • Thirteenth Voice — I imagine being in a listening hall, a poet sitting on the stage, their voice working working to pull me forward, to sit in the chair next to them, to listen and to wonder and to connect … to salvage hope … to listen for joy …
  • Fourteenth Voice — here, now, I am adrift in the small, nearly invisible intentional currents of a lake of words … the voice is the boat, or a stick, and we are ripples … the trees and soil and the rooting of stories  … and we are thinking feeling listening …
  • Fifteenth Voice — the voice is running, pausing, slowing, not stopping, moving, pushing, guiding, sanding down the edges of something to reveal what’s beneath … roots burrow down
  • Sixteenth Voice — spectrum of sound in this voice, past the places, the knowing understanding voice, the narrator who sees a way forward and invites us to join … like a blessing … returns
  • Seventeenth Voice — an echo of an earlier voice, returns … smoke and fire …. something flourishes, even in the quickened pace of the poem …
  • Eighteenth Voice — claves again, stitching .. clarity of frequency, this voice is next to us, sitting … right … there … and what will we make of this place? Indeed. What WILL we make of this place?
  • Nineteenth Voice — the voice is neither, neither hammer or chisel, but more a vocalized gift of each, and we are surfacing, are we not?
  • Twentieth Voice — forced slowdown for intentional alliteration, so effective so effective … my ears linger on the sound … on the tapestry … harmony …
  • Twenty-First Voice — lifting voice to the question mark of text … then, the slow roll down the incline … I imagine the paint stroke of a young artist, guided by instinct and making art …
  • Twenty-Second Voice — less question than a gathering … what will it be … these last lines … will we remember to breathe?
  • Music outro — guitar riff, hopeful sound

Peace (in listening mode),
Kevin

PS — from Wendy at Soundcloud

Readers in order or appearance (Twitter tag): Lisa (nobleknits2) Charlene (inspirepassion) Kevin (dogtrax) Ron (ronald_2008) Sue (sueinasp) Sarah (NomadWarMachine) Denise (mrsdkrebs) Will (willgourley) Ron S (ronsamul) Betsy (BetsyCallanan) Niall (niall_barr) Wendy (wentale) Catherine (catdartnall) Joe Murphy (joefromkenyon) AK (koutropoulos) Sheri (grammasheri) Irwin (irwindev) Jennifer (JenniferDenslow) Tania (taniatorikova) Irene (IrenequStewart) Susan (SSpellmanCann)

Mixed by Wendy Taleo. Music from Zapsplats.com
Original poem: wentalearn.blogspot.com/2021/02/ds106…-thought.html

Slice of Life: That Wind of Gust and Din

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I woke with an idea brewing for Day in a Sentence but then the wind — incredibly loud and incredibly powerful, and a bit scary — barreled its way into my morning and still is shaking the windows and spooking the dogs.

So, here is my daily poem as Slice of Life.

This wind –
this ferocious wind –
this wind that sings
with gust and din,
this wind that brings
a fury as it flashes in,
’til I’m wide awake
to the siren call,
and up and out
before the day
begins

Peace (flowing through),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence (the month begins)

I am once again taking part in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge with Two Writing Teachers (now, many hands on deck), and as usual, I am starting the month of March, as many do, wondering how in the world am I going to write a Slice each day?

I mean, I write every day.

But I’ve been mostly writing my poems and doing art/creative stuff with DS106 and skipping Saturdays and doing only photographs for Silent Sundays.

But … I remembered another project a long time back … Day in a Sentence … it, too, was a friendly challenge for teachers to write, but to do so by writing a summary of an entire day, in one single sentence.

So, I figure, why not combine the two concepts on some (but maybe not all) days of the Slice of Life? I even still have the Day in a Sentence icon in my blog media bin.

How cool is that?

So, here is my Day in a Sentence for my first Slice of Life 2021:

Morning fog obscures the pre-dawn street, as the dogs — young, nearly always, leading old — just keep on pulling me forward into the day.

Peace (short but sweet),
Kevin